Years ago when we moved in, I put a lot of thought of how we would use the kitchen and tried to organize the cabinets based on that. For example, pots and pans near the stove, glasses near the fridge, everyday plates near the dishwasher, etc. Over the years not only has our family changed (we now have a little person that is capable of helping with kitchen tasks), we got more, and more, ahem, stuff.
What spurred this recent overhaul? Well, I bought a new dutch oven (because apparently I must have everything Pioneer Woman uses in her kitchen) and it was left to sit on the stove top because there was no cabinet space.
My first tasks were finding empty boxes, buying big trash bags and taking every cotton pickin' thing out of the cabinets. Could someone please tell me why we had 600 plastic sport bottles, cups and old coffee mugs? Do you think I could jam one more spoon or spatula in the wire basket on the counter? Nope. Getting to the things you use most frequently should be easy, not a challenge--and certainly not life-threatening (or sanity straining).
Things that were too used or just plain junk went in the trash bags. Everything in fair condition went into boxes for Goodwill.
I kept telling myself that if I wasn't using it, then it was outta here. Why on earth was I hanging on to duplicate pots, pans, casserole dishes, plastic ware, serving bowls, and utensils I never used? Do you think I have enough plastic ware, huh, do ya? Mercy me! Oh, and yes, those are boom-zoom mugs from the Friends heyday, circa what, 1995?
I also filled the other drawers on the island (where our stove top is) with the pots I do use. Doing that freed up a shelf for a new purpose, which is one of my favorite changes...This roll-out shelf is right beside our dishwasher. I shamelessly copied The Nester's brilliant idea of moving her everyday dishes so they are more accessible to the littles. Our Fiestaware used to be crammed in a high cabinet that was too small for the sheer volume of Fiesta that we have. Annelise, Little Miss Independent, would climb up on the counter to get what she needed and I would always cringe because 1.)she was on the counter and b.) it was just asking for a dropped dish. Or child.
Just to let you know that perfection does not reign (ha!) in our home, the cabinet under the sink still needs attention. I plan to use plastic baskets to create some semblance of order under there.
I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to be free from all of that STUFF. Well, yes I can, it feels FABULOUS (jumps up and down and spontaneously busts out a herky). I think I have some kind of organizing high going on because I keep tip-toeing back in there to peek inside all of the cabinets and stand there grinning from ear to ear.